Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Legacies in college admissions

The NY Times writes about the burden of having a parent who went to an Ivy League college: Being a Legacy Has Its Burden

But, for all the angst and pressure, there are some compensations:

"...among legacy applicants for Princeton’s class of 2015, 33 percent of those offered a spot were the children of alumni. Harvard generally admits 30 percent, and Yale says it admits 20 percent to 25 percent. For all three, the overall rate is in the single digits.

"According to “The Impact of Legacy Status on Undergraduate Admissions at Elite Colleges and Universities,” a study of 30 colleges published in June in Economics of Education Review, the closer the relation, the greater the benefit: children of parents who attended a school as an undergraduate saw a 45 percentage point increase in the probability of admission; for children of graduate students — or those who had a relative other than a parent attend — the increase in probability was about 14 percentage points.

"Over the long haul, though, legacy enrollment has declined. In 1980, 24 percent of Yale’s freshman class had a parent who had attended, but in the class of 2014, 13 percent were legacy students. At most Ivy League schools, 10 percent to 15 percent of those who end up enrolling are the children of former students.

"And with college enrollment at an all-time high, admittance has become tougher for everyone; acceptance rates are far lower than a generation ago. An applicant from the Harvard class of 1985 would have faced an admission rate of 16 percent, compared with 6 percent for the class of 2015."

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